If we are done fighting over oxygen, let’s get to work, said Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday, a day after a Supreme Court-appointed panel report stated that the national capital’s oxygen needs were “exaggerated” by four times during the second Covid wave. This led the BJP to charge the AAP dispensation of “criminal negligence”, while the CM-led party accused the saffron party of “cooking up” such a report.
“If you are done fighting over oxygen, let us do some work? Let’s make such a system together where no one lacks oxygen in the third wave. In the second wave, people faced severe shortage. Now this should not happen in the third wave,” Kejriwal tweeted.
The chief minister further said that if we amongst ourselves, then coronavirus will win. “If we fight together, the country will win,” he added.
Meanwhile, AIIMS director Dr Randeep Guleria has said that it would not be correct to say that Delhi “exaggerated” its oxygen needs. “Delhi oxygen audit is an interim report. We should wait for the final report,” Guleria, who heads the sub group that led the audit, was quoted as saying by NDTV.
“The matter is in the Supreme Court. We need to wait and see what the top court says about it. Undercounting of active cases and other factors need to be considered,” he told the news channel.
Responding to the accusations, Kejriwal on Friday said his only “crime” was that he “fought for the breath of two crore people” of Delhi.
His deputy Manish Sisodia claimed that no such report has been approved by the committee members. He alleged that the “bogus” and “misleading” report has been “cooked up” at BJP’s office and submitted by the Centre in the apex court.
Several Union ministers, including Prakash Javadekar, Piyush Goyal and Nirmala Sitharaman, took to Twitter to hit out at the Delhi government over the report. BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra also slammed the Delhi government, terming it to be a “heinous crime”.
The sub-group constituted by the Supreme Court to audit oxygen consumption in hospitals in the national capital during the second wave of COVID-19 said the Delhi government “exaggerated” the consumption of oxygen and made a claim of 1,140 MT, four times higher than the formula for bed capacity requirement of 289 MT.
The five-member panel headed by AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria said the Delhi government had made the claims for allocation of 700 MT oxygen on April 30 of medical grade oxygen using a “wrong formula”. Taking to Twitter, Kejriwal said his only “crime” was that he “fought for the breath of two crore people”.